Each new edition of the Denim Première Vision show is a new opportunity to bring the denim community together and to highlight projects that enable its key players to work together within the same value chain.
The “Indigo Eden” project initiated by Alessio Berto, founder of The Tailor Pattern Support studio, is one of those. It began with a desire to create a capsule collection with no environmental impact, bringing together the expertise of committed and transparent companies and the visionary creativity of tomorrow’s talent.
The Indigo Eden collection will be exhibited in a dedicated area at the Denim PV show on 23 & 24 November at Superstudio Piu in Milan, and we caught up with its creator Alessio Berto to find out more about the genesis of the project.
What was the starting point of this projet?
Alessio Berto: “The Indigo Eden idea was born 6 years ago as I was still reading about the pollution due to mass production and non-compliance with the rules, the exploitation of workers, the waste of fabrics, the release of microplastics, hydrosulfites, PVA above all of denim. I then designed 5 outfits trying to think about all this …
Not being a designer or a brand, I opted for a provocative and drastic mood: the only way to change all this, would have been the confrontation with an evolved race or looking at the civilizations of the past and their peaceful and respectful coexistence with the planet. Which translated in simple terms was to become aware and reflect to change the way fashion was created. Indigo Eden was about Awareness.“
How did the idea of a collaboration come about?
Alessio Berto: “I first presented this project to a famous international denim company but got no answer, so I put the project in the drawer. Then came the Covid crisis and everyone started to think … and to create more and more collections in the name of sustainability but I decided to wait … In 2021 there were some reports that rekindled my inspiration, one from the Pentagon on new antigravity aero-space technologies and one from the UN regarding the future coexistence of man with climate change. So I started doing research on innovative and futuristic materials that corresponded to the needs of adaptation to the climate inspired by space, intelligent chemistry and natural materials. In short, I dared more…”
Alessio Berto: “After those research, I presented the project again to multiple companies this time and schools where I taught. In the end, 40 companies from fabrics to accessories, labels, students, universities, professionals, graphic designers, photographers, musicians and video makers joined, including ESA which kindly provide me with a video from the space station.”
What inspired the style of the outfits in the collection?
Alessi Berto: “I wanted to create the 5 outfits based on the characteristics of the materials and try to represent my skills in transversal pattern-making of my 36 years career: from denim, utility, sportswear, soft tailoring to no gender pattern-making. The inspiration comes from the Inuit, the Dogon of Mali, the Hopi Indians and their relations with the gods of their mythologies. The fits had to be perfect for both a man and a woman at the first garment so no prototypes, shrinkage tests, washes were made, everything was done in one shot using the excellence of each participant, so there was no waste!
I wanted to represent the garments in an almost extraterrestrial futuristic key and, thanks to the intuition of one of my students, I think we succeeded. The shooting and the video made at IED Milan are one of the things I am most proud of, both for the representation of the mood and for how the garments fit. As one newspaper wrote: Indigo Eden is Ancient Future.”
What type of materials did you use?
Alessio Berto: “The materials are all on the market but a very thorough and studied research has been carried out: thermoregulatory nylon with HMPE molecules that make the fabric indestructible, vegetable scuba fabric, nylon graphene fabric which is thermoregulating, antistatic, fireproof and conductive, vegetable plastics, beetroot buttons, bio-based labels, zips in non-galvanized recycled metal, endlessly recyclable yarns, recycled elastics, recycled EVA soles, denim with indigo dissolved with electrolytes instead of hydrosulfites, finished with ultrasound and sized with pectine instead of PVA and geo localizable thanks to rare earth minerals without the addition of any chemicals. Above all, no water was used and fabric was used as much is possible. Finally, we used laser technology to emboss the logos and create a design based on Hopi mythologies.”
Alessio Berto : “The most important material, however, is the passion and professionalism of those who participated and believed in the project, especially for a project that would never go on sale and that would not have generated profit for any of the participants. All the materials and everything was provided to me to support the manifesto as a tribute to demonstrate the weight and meaning we would all create together. I am very proud of this.”
Talking about manifesto, what is the message behind this collection?
Alessio Berto: “First of all, professionalism, competence and transparency. With the students we produced a 35-page document available for free on request where everything is written: technical specifications and compositions of all materials, including yarns, profiles and links of the participating companies, photos of the patterns and of the workshop made with the students, photos of the garments worn… In short, everything we talked about, we have done and the information is all available to everyone as inspiration.“
Alessio Berto: “The collection is also available for schools, trade shows and companies. Indigo Eden is a Case Study on how collections should be thought in the future if we really wanted to solve the problems everyone is talking about. The funny thing is that this is exactly how fashion was created before globalization… But of course, it takes courage and professionalism to go back to the past.”
« I’m proud that our work and the Indigo Eden message are passed along » – Alessio Berto
The Indigo Eden video was screened on September 21, 2022 during UNGA WEEK in NYC, the premiere of the “Human Kind Film Series” in cooperation with the 17TH UNITED NATIONS ASSOCIATIONS FILM FESTIVAL – TRAVELING FILM FESTIVAL NEW YORK and ASVOFF, where films of positive social change, social impact and creativity were presented, followed by expert panel discussions.